POP ROCK MUSIC IN 1950s and 1960s

Turkish pop music began to shape in the late 1950s. Before that "Turkish art music" and "Turkish folk music" were the basic genres. After the World War II, Turkish government opened the doors to capitalist politics and thus Western style singers from Europe became popular. Urban public listened to French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese pop songs in the 1950s. They were followed by American rock'n roll in the early 1960s.

As the Western music began to shape Turkish pop music there was one problem: How to sing these popular songs in Turkish? Fecri Ebcioglu (singer&composer) founded "Aranjman music" (Turkish language covers). That is, the lyrics of Western pop songs of the period would be translated into Turkish and sung by Turkish singers. This was a new era in pop music. This process can be considered the starting point for pop in Turkey. People began to find pop music more attractive and singers like Erol Buyukburc (Elvis of Turkey) was able to sing at "gazinos" (musical nightclubs), the main venue for entartainment culture. His songs were still in English. But he also sang rock adaptations of Turkish folk songs.

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Fecri Ebcioğlu / Erol Buyukburc / Ilham Gencer





"Bak bir varmis bir yokmus" (Look once upon a time) is considered to be the first Turkish pop song. It was sung by İlham Gencer and his group. It became a great success. It was the Turkish cover of Bob Azzam's C'est ecrit dans le Ciel.

İlham Gencer - Bak bir varmis bir yokmus


The 1960s were an important time for most countries,as well as for Turkey.Independence movements were rising all over the world. People started acting on their demands. The new trend was creating their own national music based on their folk music. In Turkey, as well the ideology of freedom and populism quickly spread during the 1960s and folk culture got an increasing interest. A pop music which reflected the national sensibility of the period was created. "Burcak Tarlasi" (Field of Vetch) by Tulay German is the first song of this trend. This nationalist movement in music later became "Anadolu pop" (Anatolian Pop). Names like Baris Manco, Erkin Koray, Mogollar and Cem Karaca were the shining rock stars of the late 1960s. Manco's "Kol Dugmeleri" (Cuff buttons), Koray's "Anma Arkadas" (Don't Mention it friend), Karaca's "Resimdeki Gozyaslari" (The Tears in the Picture) and the Mogollar's "Dag ve Cocuk" (The Mountain and the Child) are the examples that show the sensitivity of Anatolian pop.



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Tülay German / Baris Manco / Moğollar

Tulay German - Burcak Tarlasi



Baris Manco- Kol Dugmeleri



Erkin Koray - Anma Arkadas



Cem Karaca - Resimdeki Gozyaslari



Music competitions were held during the 1960s to increase public attention such as "Golden Microphone Competition" held by the newspaper "Hürriyet" and "The Inter-High School Music Contest" by the newspaper "Milliyet". Several star singers and groups came onto the scene and gained popularity.

Another feature of this decade was the recording of popular songs in Turkish by several European singers from Adamo to Marc Aryan . "Deniz ve Mehtap" (The Sea and the Moon) by the famous İzmir born Dario Moreno and "Samanyolu" (Milky Way) by Berkant were the classics of Turkish pop in that era.

Dario Moreno - Deniz ve Mehtap


Berkant- Samanyolu




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